On Saturday morning at 2:39am, Elijah Dallon Martens was born! He was 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20.5”. Tyla and Elijah both did great. We came home from the hospital on Monday morning and we’re still trying to figure out how get any sleep.
We’ve been keeping his name a secret the whole pregnancy and it’s fun to say it in public now. The name Elijah was on one of the few names we both had on our individual lists. Dallon is my dad’s first name. So Elijah’s middle name is his grandpa’s last name, just like it is for me and my dad, etc.
While we are thrilled to be home, the hospital was incredible. If we do this again, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose Evergreen a second time. Everyone from the doctors to the nurses to the lactation consultants to the janitors were super helpful and friendly. As first time parents, it was comforting to know that whenever we had a question, all we had to do was push a button on the bed and an expert would walk in to not only give us the answer to that question, but also provide lots of background on the topic. We made good use of those opportunities and asked tons of questions. A lot of this is still a mystery to me, but I can’t imagine being home along with a newborn without the education we received in the last two days over and above all the classes we took.
Pastor Weiser from our church came to visit on Saturday afternoon and baptized Elijah. There was no medical rush for it to happen but Tyla and I both felt a lot better having it done right away instead of waiting a week or two. We’re planning a quick affirmation of the baptism in church this coming Sunday. The service is at 9:30 and you’re all welcome to come!
I will get more pics posted as soon as I find 10 minutes to sit at the computer, but here are a couple to get you started.
We’re about four months past the end of our bathroom model and I’m still very happy with the result. There’s not much, if anything, that I would change if we were doing it again. One of my favorite features is turning out to be the Moen Posi-Temp shower valve. I didn’t think much about it when I picked it out, but this thing works wonders.
If you’re in our other shower and someone turns on the hot water anywhere else in the house, you get a shot of cold water and the opposite is true for them flushing the toilet, etc. With the Posi-Temp valve, you can’t tell at all! I’ve been searching for a good diagram to show how it works, but this is the best answer I’ve found so far:
The balancing spool may be either within the cartridge or in a separate spool cartridge. If the pressure of water coming in on the cold side suddenly drops it will cause the spool to shift and reduce the incoming hot water thus balancing the pressure (and the temperature).
I’d love to take one of these apart some time and see how it’s put together. But regardless, this thing is magic and I highly recommend it if you’re changing out your plumbing valves.
Last spring I wrote about a YouTube channel called Smarter Every Day. It continues to be one of the best web video series that I’ve found. The last episode about caterpillars was pretty incredible. Imagine you’re a caterpillar and you want to move as quickly as possible. There’s only so fast that you can walk by yourself, but what if 100 of your friends are walking to the same spot? How could you walk faster as a group than as an individual?
Watch the episode to find out:
And while you’re at it, I also recommend the Minute Physics channel. In each video he very quickly breaks down a complicated physics topic.
A week or so ago, we caught our first glimpse of the Xbox One which will be launching later this year. This was the first speech in a three part rollout and it focused mostly on the TV and entertainment options in the box. (Part 2 is E3 for games and then part 3 is Build where they’ll talk about developer stuff.) With all the talk about TV, the internet was once again buzzing about the possibility that the Xbox will be a DVR or that it will allow you to connect tuners to it.
I have no inside information, but there’s no way this is ever going to happen. First of all, those of us who are willing to connect to cable TV with anything but the box from the cable company is extremely small. On top of that, DVRs are a stopgap measure for a dying medium. Do you really think that in 10 years we’re really going to have to cache content locally? It’s ridiculously inefficient for cable companies to simultaneously pump 100s of channels to millions of individual consumers who then put that content back on hard drives to watch it later. Sooner or later (and we’re already making big strides in this direction) we’ll just pick the content we want to watch and it will appear on our TV. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are showing us what that might look like and the cable companies will either jump on board or they’ll die a slow death.
So with that future ahead of us, why would Microsoft, a company that also sells TV and movies digitally, want to invest any time in a solution that’s not going to be needed before the Xbox One hits the end of it’s lifecycle?
Now that we’ve restarted our Netflix streaming membership thanks to Arrested Development, I think we’ll probably keep it going for a while. This gives us access to more online streaming content than we had with just our Amazon Prime membership and Comcast streaming options. So now the problem becomes how do I figure out which service has the content I want? That’s exactly what canistream.it aims to answer. Type in a TV show or movie and it will search Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, XFinity and a bunch of other streaming options as well as places you might be able to purchase the show. It’s pretty handy!
If you’re building a campfire to cook your food, there’s a lot of wasted energy. A company called BioLite has come up with an ingenious device that converts some of the heat from your campfire into power to recharge your cell phone or other small USB devices. It also uses that power to power a small fan that helps keep your fire burning strong. It’s only $130 or you can spend an extra $60 to get a grill attachment for it. There’s no fuel canister to carry around. You just stuff it full of twigs and leaves. The fan helps keep it burning hot so there isn’t a lot of smoke. What a great idea!
Last week I went to the doctor not knowing what was wrong and he diagnosed me with shingles… that disease that supposedly only affects older people. The doc said it can be caused in younger people because of stress, and coupled with some other stress related medical stuff I’ve had this year, I apparently need to take more time to relax.
But anyway, from a geek perspective, I found this interesting enough to blow right through that “Too Much Information” barrier and blog about it:
- You can only get shingles if you’ve previously had chicken pox.
- When you heal from chicken pox, the virus doesn’t die. Shingles is that old virus breaking out of your nerve cells.
- It follows right along a line of nerves in your body. The doctor showed me a page from a book with a nerve line that directly matched my shingles.
- It only happens on one side of your body.
- About a third to a half of people will get shingles at some point in their life.
- Someone over 50 is roughly ten times more likely to get shingles than a younger person.
- The common thinking is that you’re very unlikely to get it twice in your life but a Mayo Clinic report from last year indicates that might not be the case. My doctor never mentioned it being a one-time thing.
- There is a vaccine for it that can administered to older people (and there’s also a chicken pox vaccine for younger kids too.) The shingles vaccine was only licensed in 2006 but it’s supposed to reduce your chances of getting shingles by 50%.
Concern that I would give my newborn son a disease sent me to the doctor much earlier than I would normally have gone. That was a great move because catching it in the first 72 hours makes it much more treatable. The doctor said there was no concern about passing it on to my pregnant wife or to my newborn son. We double checked with our OB and she completely agreed. Woohoo!*
So while this week has not been at all fun, I’m very happy that it won’t affect my wife or my son!
PS. Please note that advice was given in my specific case. Don’t extrapolate to your situation. Talk to your doctor!
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